Student Stories Spotlight

[fa icon="calendar'] 9/16/20 5:31 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

Wondering what it's really like to work with the Empowerly community? Of course, we think our program is pretty spectacular... but that's just us. Hear from real students as they reflect on their experiences with Empowerly and advice they have to offer you.

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Back-to-School Advice: How Many AP Classes Are Enough?

[fa icon="calendar'] 9/6/20 8:08 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

One of the most common topics students ask about is their AP course load. For many students, AP classes are a badge of honor. “How many AP’s are you taking? Which ones? What scores did you get?” Questions like these abound before every school year, and after it ends for summer. Similar pressure to achieve surrounds IB and Honors courses. This leaves students and parents to wonder, how many AP classes are enough to be accepted to a good college? For some, the question is: will it ever be enough? 

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3 Scenarios When College Counselors Are Helpful

[fa icon="calendar'] 9/3/20 5:15 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

As new COVID-safety policies roll out and the future remains uncertain, standard curriculum provided to high schoolers facing college admissions just doesn't cut it anymore. Getting independent advice for your child in college admissions seems like a must.

In many ways, it is an arms race to help children prepare as much as possible for the decisive moment of receiving the long-awaited decision letter: accepted, rejected, or waitlisted. In fact, many parents start coaching their students in 8th or 9th grade with new activities, clubs,  SAT boot camps, and competitions. College counselors, or college admissions counselors, are useful in guiding students and parents in innumerable ways.

Today, we'll review three common scenarios we see at Empowerly when counseling makes the biggest impact:

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Parents of Juniors: Let's Talk About The Waitlist

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/31/20 9:00 AM / by Anne Macleod Weeks

You may be asking yourself, "The waitlist? My student is a junior! Why would I worry about the waitlist?"

While your application season is still months away, that doesn't mean your college prep should wait until then. In this article, I'll discuss the specific reasons why thinking about the waitlist when you student is in 11th grade instead of 12th grade can help you through the process.

 

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What You Need to Know about Weighted GPA

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/28/20 8:15 AM / by Natalie Thompson

What is the difference between a weighted GPA and an unweighted GPA? And how do you use a weighted GPA improve your college application?

Grades are not the only thing a college considers when they look at your application. But they are part of the equation. We'll break it down for you. 

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Creating Your College List Using Data

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/26/20 1:10 PM / by Madeleine Karydes

Developing your college list is a challenging task. Many students who approach us at Empowerly aim to apply to 6 or 7 (or more) well-selected schools, and spread those across safety, target, and reach colleges. So how do most people create these lists today?

Some students create complicated spreadsheets. Some simply apply to colleges that are easily accessible—schools that are geographically close, or that they've heard about from friends. Other students just guess, based on a vague impression.

But there's a better strategy: one that will help you reduce your stress, find your best-fit campus, and put you on the road to success. Do those benefits sound good to you? Read on.

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How College Admissions Counseling Can Help You Get Into College

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/22/20 7:30 AM / by Niko Mann

 

 

Applying for college can be an overwhelming experience, but college admissions counseling can help to simplify the journey. The college application process is complicated; navigating your way through, while dealing with other responsibilities, can be stressful. Lighten the burden on yourself by considering how college admissions counseling can make life easier for you.  

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Ask Me Anything: Tips From Inside UC Berkeley Admissions

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/20/20 12:30 PM / by Empowerly Team

In this post, we asked a former UC Berkeley admissions employee for some helpful college advice for high school students. Read below for insider knowledge from a college expert with experience working in admissions!

 

What does UC Berkeley look for in a student?

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Guides: How I Got Into Stanford

[fa icon="calendar'] 8/12/20 2:56 PM / by Amanda Orbuch

Martha Collins, a Stanford alum, shares her Stanford admissions story. She discusses her tips for best approaching the application process and what she feels made her application stand out.

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Top Computer Engineering Undergraduate Programs

[fa icon="calendar'] 7/15/20 8:30 AM / by Julia de Raadt

So you love to tinker on the computer, you’re a whiz at coding—and you’ve managed to pull apart your computer, pop a new hard drive in it, and build it again. Why not pursue your passion for all things computer science and its hardware, and major in computer engineering?

 

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Online, Digital, or Virtual: Being Well-Rounded Still Helps Admissions

[fa icon="calendar'] 7/9/20 9:15 AM / by Madeleine Karydes

The competition for college admission has never been tougher than it is now. The National Center for Education Statistics recently estimated that approximately 20.2 million students were enrolled in college. Today, as school administrations are only beginning to announce their plans for the fall semester, those in-demand spots are suddenly uncertain.

What we do know is that college admissions’ personnel accepted these lucky students after careful consideration. The college or university board of admissions, with a weighting system unique to each school, determines the criteria for acceptance. Some criteria that are evident across the board at different colleges and universities are: good grades, well-written college essays, glowing recommendation letters, and of course, community and school extracurricular activity involvement.

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What to Expect from a Counseling Session with Empowerly

[fa icon="calendar'] 6/4/20 6:05 PM / by Casey Monahan

Empowerly provides expert advice to high school students applying to college. Our counselors play a huge role in working one-on-one with our students to help them through the application process. You may be wondering, “what’s so important about getting college admissions counseling?” or “how can a college counselor help me?”

We talked to Sheelah Bearfoot, one of our fantastic counselors, to get the scoop.

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Case Study: How College Counseling Helps San Mateo Students Get Ahead

[fa icon="calendar'] 5/21/20 9:00 AM / by Empowerly Team

The city of San Mateo, located in the intellectually vibrant Bay Area, is an incredibly well-educated community. The US Census Bureau reflects an idyllic picture of a typical Northern California “brain hub” hotspot: geographically close to the Silicon Valley, residents bringing in a high median income (approximately $994k annually), homes boasting nearly universal internet connection, and of course, the classic mild California climate. 

Yet with a launchpad as great as this one, students are still feeling lost facing the college admissions process. With only cookie-cutter in-school support resources, where else do they turn for help?

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Important: Digital Toolkit Update!

[fa icon="calendar'] 4/1/20 6:48 PM / by Empowerly Team

As they say, time is money; don't waste either of yours. Want better results for all your hard work? Track your progress.

Record your academic performance and standardized test scores in your Academic Profile section of the Digital Toolkit. By doing so, Empowerly's counselors, editors, and expert researchers can give you more customized feedback and recommendations!

 

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I Didn't Get Into a Summer Program: Plan B

[fa icon="calendar'] 3/25/20 8:00 AM / by Farah Weheba

The old adage is "You are what you eat," not "You are where you were accepted." We're serving up some perspective to untangle your sense of self-worth from any summer program rejection letters. Check out growth mindset, and put together an amazing and self-driven plan B summer program. 

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